Vials hails Bough Beech as ‘Feeder Fish­ing’s Wem­b­ley’

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FEEDER MAS­TERS founder Mick Vials is al­ready look­ing to fine tune and im­prove the event for 2018 fol­low­ing a widely ac­claimed two-day Fi­nal on Kent’s Bough Beech Reser­voir, won by An­gler’s Mail colum­nist Dar­ren Cox (Gar­bolino).

Dar­ren re­veals the tackle and tac­tics which helped him lift the tro­phy and the £12,000 win­ner’s cheque in a three-page Match Squad Spe­cial in pages 12-15.

Mean­while, An­gler’s Mail snatched a quick in­ter­view with York­shire-based Mick, whose lengthy ca­reer with Dren­nan Barns­ley Blacks and in­ter­na­tional ex­per­tise with Pre­ston In­no­va­tions Eng­land Feeder Team makes him one of the match scene’s se­nior fig­ures.

Feeder Mas­ters has be­come mega pop­u­lar in just two years, Mick. What’s the se­cret?

I could see how feeder fish­ing was grow­ing, not just in the UK but all over Europe, since FIPS started the World Feeder Cham­pi­onships eight years ago. Work­ing with my brother Dar­ren, we came up with the right idea at the right time for a UK feeder com­pe­ti­tion, which we pitched to po­ten­tial sponsors.

Much of the con­test’s ap­peal seems to be your will­ing­ness to spread qual­i­fy­ing matches far and wide?

We’ve run qual­i­fiers in Europe and Ire­land as well as many English venues, which aren’t in­cluded in other ma­jor con­tests. And we’re al­ways open to sug­ges­tions for other venues. Any­one can reach us at any time via our Face­book page.

It’s a pop­ulist ev­ery­man event then?

Def­i­nitely! My orig­i­nal pitch to sponsors was that the Feeder Mas­ters win­ner would be ‘The Peo­ple’s Cham­pion’. John O’Driscoll, a su­perb an­gler whose abil­i­ties aren’t widely recog­nised be­yond his lo­cal North West cir­cuit, win­ning last year’s de­but event was an ideal out­come. So for Dar­ren Cox, a widely known and much-loved an­gler, to win the sec­ond year is bril­liant, too. Our win­ning cash isn’t in the same league as the big com­mer­cial fish­ery clas­sics, but peo­ple love the fact that we spread a 30-grand prize purse across the top ten places.

Will Bough Beech host next year’s Fi­nal again?

That’s our in­ten­tion. Bough Beech has be­come the Wem­b­ley of feeder fish­ing, just like the River Wye is for river an­glers thanks to RiverFest. We’re in ne­go­ti­a­tions with venue man­age­ment to se­cure the venue for fu­ture years. LOW flows and clear wa­ter on the Severn and Thames made both of the lat­est An­gling Trust RiverFest qual­i­fiers hard go­ing for an­glers hop­ing to qual­ify for No­vem­ber’s two-day big money Fi­nal, on the River Wye at Here­ford.

Many of the 60 strug­gled, but the top four on the Severn at Bridg­north all broke 20 lb. Dan Ash­ing­ton (Sen­sas Star­lets) had four pel­let­sand-meat bar­bel for 26 lb at peg 19, be­low Lin­ley bridge. Adrian Pad­dock (Bridg­north) and Dave Beecroft (Cambridge) also qual­i­fied.

■ On the Thames at Clan­field, Ban­bury Gun­smiths team­ster John Price was a run­away win­ner with 19 lb 7 oz – 6 lb of bits to whip and ground­bait with a chub and some chunky perch on chopped worm at 14 m at peg 94. Mike Bed­ding (Shake­speare) and John Moody (Gar­bolino Black­more Vale) won their zones, so join him in the Fi­nal.

Wood­land Lakes joy for Golden Reel champ

LEEDS match­man Stu Fother­ing­ham (Marukyu) added Septem­ber’s Wood­land Lakes five-day fes­ti­val ti­tle to his 50-grand Golden Reel vic­tory of early Au­gust.

Stu stuck to Method feeder, bomb and long pole to fin­ish one point clear of Adam Richards, af­ter an ac­tion­packed week at the Thirsk, North York­shire com­plex.

“My best day was the opener, with 138 lb from Kestrel Lake peg 9, fol­lowed by sec­tion sec­onds the next two days, a Day 4 lake win then a sec­tion third,” said ‘Fov’. ■ Stu Fother­ing­ham with one of his Wood­land Lakes fes­ti­val catches.

■ Feeder Mas­ters or­gan­iser Mick Vials with one of his catches from the 2017 Fi­nal.

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